Bioclimatic house converted into a meditation space under the swimming pool
The APS/pablo senmartin arqitectos bioclimatic house at Villa Parque Siquiman, Argentina, floats above natural vegetation with a view of a distant lake. It’s a weekend home with a carefree and airy modern feel. However, the house is in fact the result of an in-depth study of current construction problems in the natural territory of Argentina. It has developed under the guidance of LEED v4 Sustainable Housing Certification Standards.
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The pandemic has created greater demand for remote working from homes in areas of great natural beauty. Therefore, the architects have created a house that benefits from its beautiful surroundings but treads lightly.
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To begin with, they wanted to develop a home that explores sustainability and bioclimatic patterns while incorporating the new countryside-city relationships of remote workers. In doing so, the architects attempted to create a low impact home in construction and on an ongoing basis. Construction work accounts for around 70% of global emissions and more than 60% of resource use.
Because of this, the bioclimatic house is located in the mountains of Cordoba, on the edge of Lake San Roque. It takes place in a region characterized by environmental fragility. There are periods of drought, large fires, loss of native forest, lack of infrastructure and territorial anthropogenic footprints that have damaged the natural environment.
The first step in treading lightly was to place a concrete foundation on the sloping terrain with as little of the base as possible touching the ground. This allows natural vegetation to continue to grow under the house. It also creates a natural airflow and water runoff under the structure. The house is accessed by a bridge at street level. Under the house there is room for parking and even an open meditation bench under the concrete pool foundation on the deck above.
Additionally, a box sits above the foundation to create the body of the house divided into two levels. The first is used for the kitchen, dining room and living areas. At the back, there is a terrace, a solarium and the infinity pool. On the second floor is the main bathroom, bedroom, storage and a massage room and a sauna which doubles as a small theater. Additionally, there is a home office space on a loft edge that overlooks the main living area and across the pool to the lake.
Additionally, vertical wooden slats filter direct sunlight into the large windows at the back of the house. It also protects windows from wind and rain. Vertical elements like these slats accelerate the view to the surrounding landscape. This relationship between the house and its environment evolves throughout the day.
On the other hand, the roof is a single-pitched roof made of ventilated sheet metal. It has a ceiling with double waterproof insulation and water pipes that allow evaporation in the space to be evacuated. There is no perforation, allowing the collection of rainwater in the technical room of the base under the house without maintenance. Sheep’s wool was used for insulation.
The floors are planted pine for construction. Other low-maintenance recycled materials were sourced locally for the construction of the interior.
+ APS/ pablo senmartin architects
Photograph by Gonzalo Viramonte